Violence & Harassment

TrialWatch is the only organization in the world systematically monitoring trials against women and conducting advocacy to remedy abuse. One of TrialWatch’s key focuses is trials brought against women standing up for their rights, whether through speech or protest, or defending themselves against abusers.

Cruelty in Case of Russian Activist

Anastasia Shevchenko. February 18, 2021. REUTERS/Sergey Pivovarov

The trial of a Russian democracy activist violated her human rights and caused serious harm to her and her family. Anastasia Shevchenko was prosecuted for participation in an ‘undesirable organization’ because she held up a flag that said “#FEDUP” at a peaceful protest and spoke at a meeting about an organization that advocated for free and fair elections.

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The proceedings seem to have been intentionally cruel, with the court denying Ms. Shevchenko the right to visit her dying daughter and weaponizing surveillance footage. Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans, TrialWatch Expert in the case

Katerina Hadzi-Miceva Evans, TrialWatch Expert in the case

Domestic Violence in Kyrgyzstan

A 29-year-old domestic violence survivor, convicted of striking her husband with a steel bar resulting in his death, after she endured years of physical and emotional abuse, faced gender discrimination throughout her trial.

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We hope the UN will take prompt action—not only to remedy the violations in this particular case, but to urge Kyrgyzstan to reform how it handles trials involving survivors of domestic violence. Stephen Townley, Legal Director of TrialWatch

Stephen Townley, Legal Director of TrialWatch

Mounting Charges Against Indian Journalist

Rana Ayyub, who is known for her investigative reporting critical of Prime Minister Modi and his government, is facing charges of fraud and money laundering for alleged misuse of funds she received for COVID relief. The case was prompted by a complaint from an individual affiliated with India’s ruling party. For one of the fraud charges alone, Ms. Ayyub faces up to seven years in prison.

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CFJ calls on the Indian authorities to respect her rights to freedom of expression and to a fair trial.  CFJ also calls on the Indian authorities to ensure that any proceedings against her are not a tool of harassment.

CFJ Statement

Reverse 'Me Too' Prosecution of a Singer in Pakistan

In 2018, Meesha Shafi, a popular singer, stated that she had been subjected to “sexual harassment of a physical nature at the hands of a colleague from my industry.” Eight other women followed: alleging harassment by the same celebrity. Ms. Shafi’s claim of sexual harassment was dismissed by an Ombudsperson on the ground that it did not involve “an employer-employee relationship,” a decision she has appealed to the Supreme Court.  At the same time, the man in question responded to Ms. Shafi’s claim by lodging a complaint with Federal Information Agency (FIA), alleging that Ms. Shafi and the eight others had defamed him. The Federal Information Agency has now charged Ms. Shafi and the eight other women with transmitting false information electronically that ‘harms the reputation or privacy’ of a person, for which they face a potential penalty of up to three years in prison.

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